Scientists Discover ‘Beautiful And Unique’ Gelatinous Sea Creature

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A team of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers came across a new sea creature and they couldn’t be more impressed.

The creature is a new species of comb jelly. Comb jellies are not jellyfish and should not be confused as such. Comb jellies are ethereal, gelatinous and carnivorous denizens of the deep.

“It’s unique because we were able to describe a new species based entirely on high-definition video,” said NOAA Fisheries scientist Allen Collins in a statement Nov. 20.

The new species dwells off the coast of Puerto Rico and was first spotted in video footage captured by NOAA’s Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle in 2015.

NOAA released a stunning video showing the comb jelly floating above the seafloor.

Using a laser to measure the animal, it clocked in at 2.3 inches long (not counting the long tentacles).

NOAA Fisheries scientists knew right away the creature was something unusual, but it takes time to do the legwork to declare a new species. The team published a paper describing Duobrachium sparksae this month in the journal Plankton and Benthos Research.

“It was a beautiful and unique organism,” said lead author Mike Ford, a NOAA Fisheries scientist. The tentacles appeared to touch the seafloor, but it’s unclear if it was somehow anchored to the bottom.

The researchers spotted three individuals, but much remains unknown about the animals. The scientists still hope to collect an actual sample of the comb jelly to fill in some of the blanks. Until then, we can enjoy the mesmerizing video of an underwater marvel.